The Tigre de Cristal casino resort (pictured), located in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone (IEZ) in the Russian Far East, saw higher net profit after tax and more mass-market patrons for the first three quarters of this year, according to an investor in the casino project, Taiwan’s Firich Enterprises Co Ltd.
The main promoter of the resort, Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, only reports its results on a six-monthly basis, in line with Hong Kong Stock Exchange rules. Summit Ascent filed its interim results – for the calendar year to June 30 – in September.
Summit Ascent’s own results do not equate precisely to the business performance of Tigre de Cristal. Summit Ascent’s gaming and hotel operations are conducted through its 60-percent equity interest in a subsidiary called Oriental Regent Ltd, according to the former’s interim report.
According to Firich, Tigre de Cristal saw its revenue for the first three quarters of this year reach US$42 million, a decline from the US$43 million achieved in the prior-year period. But the net profit after tax for the property was US$6 million for the first three quarters this year according to Firich, an improvement from the US$4 million recorded in the prior-year period.
The figures – cited by Chinese-language media outlet Taiwan InfoTimes – were given by the management of Firich in an investors’ briefing on Thursday. Taiwan-listed Firich is mainly a maker and seller of point-of-sale technology, but also has a stake in Oriental Regent.
The Tigre de Cristal property hosted 238,005 “mass-market patrons” for the first three quarters of this year, an increase when compared to the 219,233 aggregate visitors welcomed in the prior-year period, Firich said, as cited by InfoTimes following the Thursday briefing.
Firich also reportedly said that the design for phase two of the Tigre de Cristal casino resort was in the “final stage”. The scale of the whole casino project would be expanded by “three times” upon the completion of the phase two works, thanks to more hotel rooms, leisure facilities and gaming space.
Summit Ascent had mentioned previously that the first stage of phase two would see investment of US$250 million to US$300 million, and would add hotel rooms, a gaming venue, conference space and restaurants, and a large shopping mall. The firm is targeting an opening in late 2020 or early 2021. The entire second phase is said to have a US$500-million price tag.
Firich and a wholly-owned subsidiary, TIGA Gaming Inc – the latter a maker of slot machines – would “reinstall” gaming machine product at Tigre de Cristal, following sustained growth in the property’s gaming operations, according to the InfoTimes report. TIGA Gaming – also based in Taiwan – had slot products at Tigre de Cristal in the property’s early days.
According to the Taiwan media report, Fitch is also currently in talks with Greek gaming supplier Intralot SA regarding a venture for sports betting in the U.S. A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in May paved the way for the legalisation of sports betting countrywide in the country.
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"As [Summit Ascent Holdings] is going to develop phase two of the Tiger de Cristal project, it is the right time for the company to increase its stake… such that the company can have more influence on the development of phase two"
Hong Kong-listed gaming investor Suncity Group Holdings